Friday, February 12, 2016

Morse Gulch

* * *

Two weeks without rain, and the Great Morse Gulch Flood has receded. I still needed to change out of my hiking shoes due to shallow pools and mud near the trailhead. I wore short pants and the same kind of footwear I like to wear when I'm photographing on the reefs at low tide. They're like rubber moccasins, and they were fine for the whole trail.

I didn't do any photography until I reached the falls, which are maybe a half-mile up the trail, but I did a little shooting on the way back. The trail is maintained basically by people hiking on it, and I saw one set each of relatively fresh human and dog tracks. Although I've only been up there once before, I still remembered it -- walking through pine duff, coming out into a small meadow, treading carefully along a stretch not much wider than my feet. Someone had put up rope in a few places, meaning to be helpful.

Most of the fungi was spooged out, but it was nice to find this late-season cup fungus still attached to its host branch.

The creek runs down that ravine in the middle distance. On the opposite hillside are numerous buckeyes. All that brown on the ground is dried-up sword fern.

I have some canyon gooseberry trying to grow in my very shaded little yard, but it has yet to unfurl its leaves or sprout any flowers.

More gooseberry flowers.

Close-up of the white maids (or milk maids, as some people call them).

After leaving Morse Gulch I went up the mountain and hiked down to Upper Cataract Falls which was already kind of disappointingly tame after two weeks with no rain.

I've been watching for wildlife in vain for so long, I couldn't believe it when I spotted my first coyote in probably a year. It used to be a fairly common thing to see coyotes, and not unheard of to see the occasional bobcat or gray fox, but the last few years have been tough for sightings, at least for me.

* * *


  1. "spooged out" Is that a technical term? I love it, it is so descriptive.

    1. Probably deliquesced or auto-digested would do. Check out this guy's post on the subject: : "I’m a big fan of things that are even more slovenly than I am, so I’ve decided to make the why and how of deliquescence the topic of this blog post."